Hearsay Official Newsletter of
January 2015
Volume 18 No.1
A new year – a new direction
Greetings to you all and I hope you are enjoying a
company working on the upgrading of our website very happy new year.
and we hope that when this is complete you will like the results and find the site user-friendly and I am delighted to tell you that Hearing Loss Ireland is proceeding apace with its modernisation programme! To comply with the new Charities We are building on the excellent work done last legislation we are carrying out a major upgrading year on the production of the videos as we are of our corporate governance, accounting piloting an approach to schools in Galway, asking mechanisms, our banking structures and them to introduce the video to their transition year organisational management, so that our whole pupils. Also, one of our younger committee organisation will be transparent and able to with- members, Carla, plans to develop a presence for us stand any scrutiny.
on social media sites and to write a regular blog.
We have been working hard to We are in contact on an ongoing basis enhance our relationship with Deaf- with various disability organisations Hear, as they have with us, and it and we engage with broadcasting is reaping rewards for both par- and transport bodies in relation to ties. Our committee hope that in access and subtitling.
the coming year we will be able to avail of their offices around So you can see that a lot of hard the country to get out and meet work has been going on in some of you in towns and cities the background to bring our around Ireland and start to grow organisation up to the standards HLI outside of Dublin. We are a required of a modern voluntary national body, the biggest volun- body and to build structures to tary organisation in Ireland repre- enable HLI to grow, and we hope senting the interests of people with this will reap rewards in the long- acquired hearing loss, and I would like to see more reflection of this in our We are always happy to hear from members who might be willing to help, so wherever you are Meanwhile, we have acquired our own office in the in Ireland, do get in touch if you would like to be DeafHear headquarters in North Frederick Street, Dublin. We are also in the process of replacing our ancient computer with one more useful for Best wishes to all our members for 2015, You will have noticed our new, professionally de- President Hearing Loss Ireland
signed logo. We also now have a professional I.T.

A new year – a new direction A message from the President.1 What's another year? The title of that suc- What's another year?.2 cessful Eurovision winner of yesteryear might certainly pro- Access & Advocacy News.3 vide us with food for thought as we plan for a new year that looks both challenging and exciting for those of us involved in Hearing Loss Ire- Hearing Loss and the CAO.5 When we changed our name last year from the Irish Hard of Hearing Association, it was not just a cosmet- ic exercise. In a few short months we have got our- selves a new office with professional staff support; we are upgrading our computer systems and our new website will be fully up and running before the end On signing terms.7 of the month.
Upcoming Events.8 Hearing Loss Ireland is growing its longstanding rela- tionship with the DeafHear.ie organisation and soon Membership Form.8 you will see the new logo prominently displayed in DeafHear offices throughout the country. With the support of DeafHear staff it is hoped to greatly ex- pand our membership and services nationwide.
The once perceived stigma of "wearing a hearing aid" is rapidly becoming a thing of the past – particularly among older people. Just as people wear glasses to compensate for deteriorating eyesight so too a hear- is published quarterly by
ing aid is now seen as a similar response to declin- ing hearing. New technology has vastly increased the opportunities for people with a hearing loss and through our new website and here in Hearsay we would hope to make people aware of these new in- novations and opportunities.
We will also be able to work closely with other organisations providing supports and services in the Hearing Loss field and hopefully our collective voice 35 North Frederick Street
will provide a powerful advocacy for the sector.
The whole issue of hearing loss is becoming much more public in recent times. It is now estimated that Tel. (01) 8175700
one in six of our population has some form of hearing loss with that figure rising to one in three for older people. As our population ages so will these figures continue to increase. Hearing Loss Ireland plans to Visit our website:
be the pre-eminent organisation representing this section of our community in the coming years. Here's to a Happy New Year for Hearing Loss Ireland Opinions exxpressed in this newsletter do not necessarily and to all of you.
reflect the views of Hearing Loss ireland

Access & Advocacy News
by Michael Tighe UN Convention on rights of people with disabilities (UNCRPD)
The UNCRPS is a subject that has been covered on many occasions in Hearsay but one that still unfortunately
requires mention.
Hearing Loss is one of many disabilities that was subject to this major UN human rights convention in 2007. Ireland was a party to this convention and the government committed to ratifying the Convention within three years and to making the necessary changes in our domestic laws.
To date 151 countries have ratified the Convention but sadly Ireland remains one of only two European coun- tries that have not ratified the treaty. The Irish Government has still not indicated when it might do so and indeed recent cuts in disability allowances and the worsening support services presently provided are contrary to the Convention. I suggest that we all write to our TDs simply looking for a commitment to ratifying the convention. With an election on the horizon maybe our views will now be listened to by the people with the power to ratify the convention.
As mentioned in the last issue of Hearsay, the RTE Player is now subtitled and
it is very good. We would be very interested in your views particularly on the scrolling subtitles as opposed to block ones. We want to give feedback to the RTE project team that did this work and influence future developments. You can visit the site at www.rte.ie/playerWe meet the BAI a few times a year about their regulation of Irish broadcasters and we also meet RTE, TV3 and others from time to time. It greatly helps us if you make complaints when subtitling services are poor. Write to the broad- casters and the BAI. They can be emailed at [email protected]; subtitles@tv3.
ie; [email protected] or go to http://utv.ie/contact/ and [email protected] Give as much detail as possible. The BAI will not engage with you unless you first complain to the broadcaster.
Induction Loops
There has been some improvement in the amount and quality of "Loops" provided in public places. However
on a scale of 1 to 10 it is fair to say the provision of good quality loops in public build- ings, places of entertainment, hospitals, post offices etc. is only 1 or 2.
Hearing Loss Ireland has begun a project, engaging six major Hospital ENT / Audiology departments to improve the services for dealing with patients with hearing loss.
An area that is a major concern to many relates to theatres and cinemas. Our plan is to engage with some theatres and cinemas on the issues of loops and captions. More news in the next issueYou may be interested to know that Amplitronics, a major international supplier of In- duction Loops, hope to bring out an "App" for mobile phones soon that will measure the quality of a loop in any given situation. On the wider issue of Hearing Loops we would love to hear of good and bad experiences you have had. We will publish interesting experiences.
Awareness of Hearing Loss
Because of work on issues relating to the new Charity Regulator, we have not made the advances we would like
to have made in creating greater awarness about hearing loss. Please feel free to show our animated videos to people. You can see them at: www.heartodayfilms.com

Fire Protection in the Home
On average 46 people die in fires in Ireland every year.
Most of these deaths would not occur if there was a work- ing smoke alarm in the home. According to the Depart- ment of the Environment, a recent survey has found that, despite all the publicity, over 300,000 Irish homes still have no smoke alarms fitted.
For people with a hearing loss, the situation is a more dif- ficult. A typical smoke alarm purchased in the local hard- ware store is unlikely to provide adequate cover for someone with a hearing loss as they may not hear the alarm in the event of a fire. There is however a range of smoke alarms available specifically targeted at people with a hearing loss. One of the best examples of these is the Fire Angel Wi-Safe 2 (WST-630) model which is now available in Ireland through DeafHear's DeafTech service.
The Fire Angel series is a wire free alarm that is simple to install – it just needs to be secured to a ceiling or high on a wall, usually in a hallway or landing. If you wish to install more than one unit you can place them in other loca- tions as they simply communicate with each other without any additional wiring. The alarm is sounded through a separate receiver unit which is plugged into any convenient wall socket. You can select from two types Fire Angel Smoke Alarm of receivers. For people with high frequency loss, a low frequency sound receiver is recommended. This gives off a loud low frequency tonal sound in the event of a fire and is the more popular model.
For people with a significant hearing loss a dual purpose strobe light receiver and pillow vibrating unit are recommended.
Both of these receiver types cost €84, while the alarm unit costs €42. One of the Low frequency receiver attractions of the alarm is that it incorporates a long-life battery that is guaranteed for ten years.
All of these Fire Angel alarms are available online from DeafTech at www.deafhear.ie or they can be pur- chased directly from any of the DeafHear offices around the country. Caring for your hearing aid
Maintaining your hearing aid through daily cleaning
temporary malfunction or permanent damage.
and regular service is extremely important.
•Clean your hearing aid using the small brush or the Proper care helps retain optimum hearing conditions,
soft cloth that came with it. Never insert tools into extends the life of your hearing aid, and ensures
the sound outlet. Doing so could damage the receiver. proper hygiene. Here are some tips for looking after
If you can't clean the hearing aid completely, ask your your aid:
hearing professional for help.
•Store your hearing aid in a safe place that's dry and cool. •Change filters often so they don't collect wax or dirt.
Even better use a dehumidifier or drying box.
•Accumulated earwax may prevent sounds from •Change hearing aid batteries often so they don't traveling from the hearing aid into the middle ear. suddenly run out of power.
Contact your doctor regularly to have your ear canals •Switch off your hearing aid when you're not using it. cleaned. Never remove the earwax from the ear your- If you don't use it for a long period of time, remove self. Doing so could damage your ear.
the battery.
Don't wear your hearing aid:
•Battery contacts should be cleaned regularly using a • in the shower cotton swab.
•Remove earwax from your hearing aid to prevent • when using a hair dryer, hair spray or other types of spray Hearing Loss and the CAO The Taney Troupers
February 1st is a red letter day for this year's Leav- ing Certificate students as it is the deadline for the completion of CAO forms indicating students pre- ferred third level courses for the Autumn.
The CAO application form includes a section where students can indicate if they have a disabil- ity and/or a specific learning difficulty, and if they wish to be considered for the DARE scheme (Dis- ability Access Route to Education) in their college application. While it is not necessary to declare if you have a The Taney Troupers are a new drama and speech disability or specific learning difficulty, students training group for people with acquired hearing with a significant hearing loss are encouraged to loss, meeting under the auspices of Hearing Loss declare this in their CAO form. Many students Ireland. They meet on Friday mornings, from 10 don't do this and, while it does not reduce their am to 12 noon, in Taney Parish Centre in Dundrum, chances of getting a place in college, there is evidence to suggest it could make their third level experience more difficult and increase the chances The idea is that we will practice clear speaking, im- of them dropping out of college. prove articulation, increase our self-confidence and learn something about drama at the same time. In fact, we have loads of fun! Our teacher, Robert Lane, is very entertaining and has us doing all sorts of exercises and games in addition to the more fo- cussed work and we spend as much time laughing and discussing as we do reading and practising.
The Disability Access Route to Education (DARE) is Robert is a theatre professional of many talents, a college and university scheme which offers plac- who has acted, produced, directed and designed es on courses on a reduced points basis to school for many top productions all over the country and leavers under 23 years old with disabilities who has worked alongside some of our best-known ac- have completed a Leaving Certificate. tors and producers. We are very fortunate that he is giving us his time and talents without accepting a The DARE scheme was set up to help increase the fee and that we are also supported by Taney Parish, number of students with disabilities as evidence who are providing premises free of charge.
shows that disability can have a negative effect on how well a student does at school. Research In a time when austerity measures have resulted in shows that this is certainly true 1 for students with a reduction in the provision of rehabilitation class- es for people with hearing loss, this class fulfils an educational function as well as a valuable social Hearing Loss Ireland encourages students with a hearing loss to consider availing of this scheme if they are applying to the CAO. Typically, students Why not start a similar class in your area? Just who apply and are eligible for the DARE scheme gather a few friends together, and work out a for- may be offered places on courses where they have mat that will suit you, with or without a teacher.
15–20 points less than the usual minimum points If you live in Dublin and would like to join a group requirement for the course. activity that is entertaining, sociable and confi- If you are unsure about what you should do, then dence-building, you can contact through info@ why not discuss the matter with your parents, hearinglossireland.ie and come along and join the teachers or school guidance counsellor. an affect hearing in a ffect hearing
o hearing loss.
Lifestyle choices a
ternational studies have found that some lifestyle choices and habits c ain amount of coffee per day can egnancy are lifestyle Recently published in s can be harmful to hearing and actually lead t e eating healthy food or drinking a cert y food or smoking during pr positive way, while other According to the studies, lifestyle choices lik e way. On the other hand, ea fit hearing, a Swedish study affect hearing in a positiv choices that can negatively affect hearing. ving the effect of slowing down ageing, may also be t with calorie restrictions can have a positive effect and actually bene ful in reducing the shows. The study suggests that calorie restriction, besides ha ated that a moderate caffeine intake can actually be help onsumed less than 150 advantageous and valuable in relation to age-related hearing loss.
an study has indic Meanwhile an Americ ording to researchers, compared to women who c s of coffee), women who c rate of tinnitus. Acc milligrams of caffeine per day (one and a half cup milligrams of caffeine per day reported 15% less incidence of tinnitus. This amoun egnancy can harm the hearing of the cups of coffee.
t smoking during pr s who smoked while pregnant. tudy has concluded tha oup of young adults, 16.2% had mother t least one ear compared to one-in-four- unborn child. In a grxperienced a hearing loss in a One in six of these e teen youngsters, who were not exposed to smoke in the womb.
High rate of hearing loss among professional musicians
A recent German study has found that professional musicians are almost four times more likely to develop eneral public.
ersonality In Older Ag noise induced hearing loss than the g that hearing loss a ersity of Gothenbur For professional musicians, exposure to noise as a result g has found of their profession increases the risk of developing hear- ing loss by almost four times, a study by the University chers at the univ In particular per sonality of older people agersity exam of Bremen has found.
ver 80. Beside the increased risk of hearing loss, the r aversion also discovered that this group of people was up to 57% chers found no chang more likely to develop tinnitus – a constant ringing in es in terms of neur er time among participan the ears – due to their job. A research team led by Dr. Wolfgang Ahrens used the health-insurance records of nearly three million Ger- mans to check for signs of hearing loss across a four-year influence the incr period from 2004 to 2008. Among the subjects, 2,227 - were identified as professional musicians including gui s such as mobility er were not signific tarists in rock bands and classical pianists.
ed vision or illness t as the only health f wever, they found tha After adjusting for age and other factors that could influ- ence hearing, the research team found that, compared sion or social withdr tly associated to the general population, professional musicians had a 3.51 times higher risk of NIHL (noise induced hearing loss) and were 57% more likely to contract tinnitus.
t of hearing loss. s, we can guess tha Based on their findings, the researchers have called for the increased use of hearing een hearing loss and ellbeing" said Anne Ing protection, regardless of g Berg, one of the r whether the professional musicians are playing in rock endan Lennon, Head of In Policy at DeafHear bands or orchestras. Further- more the research team rec- a major impact on quality of lif ommends sound-protecting educe the incidence of hearing loss b shields between the sections to loud noise or music without pr of an orchestra to protect the musicians from hearing loss as early as possible.
the sound they produce. Needle Nous
On signing terms -
Celia Willoughby, Secretary of Hearing Loss
matters of life and death
Ireland has always had a hankering to get back
by Una McConville to her old hobby of knitting and she proposed set-
ting up a knitting group for people with a hearing
Heath care settings can be difficult places for Deaf people and people with significant hearing loss. The first meeting of Needle Nous, as the group While the needs of Deaf people who use Irish Sign has been named, took place at the beginning Language (ISL) interpreters may be more visible, of January in the DeafHear headquarters in North the needs of people with significant hearing loss Frederick Street, Dublin. Although the attendance can easily be overlooked and are frequently poor- was small to begin with, "we did have fun," said ly understood by health care professionals. Celia. A knowledge of knitting might certainly have been useful, but it certainly wasn't obligatory.
A current development project (funded by the Irish Hospice Foundation and the HSE National According to Celia, "one member did her cross- Social Inclusion Unit) is developing resources for word and chatted along with us and enjoyed the health care professionals caring for deaf people jokes. Another reintroduced herself to knitting and for Irish Sign Language Interpreters working and was surprised at the amount she remem- in health care settings. While the original remit of bered while another learned a new form of cast- the project was to specifically consider the needs ing on. We had several cups of tea and the time of deaf people and ISL Interpreters and health just passed so quickly, she said.
care professionals in palliative care contexts, the difficulties for people with significant hearing loss in all health care settings emerged as a key issue.
The development project is currently developing a mobile App as a free resource for health care professionals, which will incorporate information about the needs of Deaf people and those with significant hearing loss and strategies for improv- Speaking after the first session, Ann Kenny ex- pressed her pleasure at a "lovely afternoon. I used Anyone seeking further information about this to knit but had lapsed and had thought about project can contact Una MacConville at starting again but needed a ‘kick start.' I got help with setting up - a skill that I had forgotten. Once I got a demonstration and guidance I was off. I was Giggle Box
amazed at how much I remembered.""For anyone who hasn't knitted before or has for- gotten how to, then this would a great opportunity to up skill," said Ann.
Marie O'Meara was another lapsed knitter who was delighted with the new group. "Even though I had not knitted for many years I have started up again," she told Hearsay. "In addition, the chat added to the enjoyment. All going to plan I hope to attend the weekly sessions." The knitting group meet on Wednesday after- noons in 35 North Frederick Street at 2.15 p.m. and all are welcome. As always do keep an eye on the website for more up to date information on what is going on. Abbey Theatre Dublin
She Stoops to Conquer
Directed by Conall Morrison Saturday 31st January 2pm 2-6 February 2015 Captioned matinee performance Drama Classes
If you think you may be suffering from Tinnitus Taney Parish Hall Dundrum Irish Tinnitus Association 10.00 am – 12.00 noon 35 North Frederick Street Play Reading & Voice Coaching for those with an acquired hearing loss Tel. (01) 8175700 by professional actor, director and Email: [email protected] voice coach, Robert Lane Needle Nous
Membership Form
Wednesdays 2.15 – 4.15 pm 35 North Frederick Street, Dublin 1 Ménières Group Meetings
DeafHear, Tallaght, Co Dublin For sufferers of vestibular disorders. Meetings usually take place First Monday of every month Contact Rita Power at 087 139 9945 or DeafHear Tallaght 01-4620377 National Gallery of Ireland
Merrion Square, Dublin 2 Guided Tours for Hard of Hearing Subscription: €10 per annum Thursday 5th February & Thursday 9th April at 6.30pm Meet at Clare Street Entrance I agree to abide by the conditions set out in the constitution Check our website: of Hearing Loss Ireland for full listings of events Free regular SMS updates for captioned Send this completed form to Hearing Loss Ireland, events, festival and ticket offers nationwide 35 North Frederick Street, Dublin 1 are available by subscribing to Arts & Disability, Ireland's free texting service (you only pay for the first subscription text).
Text ACCESSARTS to 51444

Source: http://hearinglossireland.ie/publications/Hearsay%20Jan%2015.pdf

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